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Nine More Inconveniences for Floridians Going Back to their Homes; Cubans Just Starting to Pick up from Irma's Debris; North Korea Battered with U.N. Sanctions; United Kingdom Starts its Brexit Legislation. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired September 12, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] MICHAEL HOLMES, HOST, CNN: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. You're watching CNN's continuing coverage of the aftermath of hurricane Irma.

I'm Michael Holmes coming to you live from Tampa, Florida.

GEORGE HOWELL, HOST, CNN: I'm George Howell live in Atlanta, Georgia. We're still feeling the effects of this storm, rain still coming down here, 3 a.m. on the U.S. East Coast and a great deal to cover for you this hour.

HOLMES: Indeed, George. Thanks. Tropical depression Irma is no longer of course the monster hurricane that barreled into Florida on Sunday and we are now starting to see the scope of destruction it has left behind.

The Florida Keys took a direct hit from Irma but the extent of the devastation still largely unknown because the only road that connects the island change remains closed.

Jacksonville has surpassed historic flood levels and the National Weather Service says those levels will keep rising. The city's downtown currently under a flashflood warning.

And in southwest Florida Irma damaged thousands of homes and downed many power lines. Millions of people are without power and may be for some time.

And George, I think the number now is around 7 million people without power. So, and that could last for weeks in some places.

HOWELL: A 1.4 million people at least that number here in the state of Georgia alone, Michael. Yes, you know, I mentioned the rain still coming down here. We're feeling the effects, nothing like what we felt earlier in the day.

Again, we felt the very strong winds, we saw some flooding in different parts of the region, you talk about Savannah, Georgia, you talk Charleston, South Carolina where in fact, they are dealing with a flood, a flash flood emergency this hour. That was information that just cross our newsroom a short ago, a situation we continue to follow.

We understand though, the death toll from the storm in this part of the United States, three people died in the State of Georgia, one person died in the U.S. state of South Carolina.

The airport situation also another story that we are monitoring because the world's busiest airport here in Atlanta, Georgia, see this image, not so busy because of all of the flights that were cancelled or delayed.

Delta Airlines, which is based here in Atlanta, cancelled at least 1,100 flights on Monday because of this storm and Southwest Airlines canceling all of its flights, mainly because of the strong winds, this cross winds that were going through the airport complex.

And also I want to show you this image, this is And you see that scare, it's called the misery scale, Atlanta, Georgia front and center of course. The airports throughout Florida also impacted by the storm. It will take some time, obviously, today, they will start getting back to some partial activity, getting better and better as we move each day forward.

But Michael, you have to think about the fact that there are so many people, especially in the Caribbean, people who lived through the storm, we were in San Juan, Puerto Rico, we saw that category 5 storm it was devastating for so many of those islands and now people are just stranded there because planes can't get there.

And when you think about the flights that are delayed from Atlanta, the flights that are delayed from the airports there in Florida, many of those people have to wait and continue waiting until things get back to normal.

HOLMES: Yes. And that could take a little while as you say, particularly on the islands. George, thanks.

Well, the Florida Keys took a direct hit from Irma on Sunday, it was the first point of landfall in the United States. And back then this was a category 4 hurricane. In Plantation Key, there is no electricity or cell service. It could be days before people who stayed to ride out the storm can leave if they want to.

CNN's Bill Weir now with the latest on the destruction there.

BILL WEIR, ANCHOR, CNN: As the sky over the Florida Keys turned from stormy black back to paradise blue all that fear and anxiety turn into shock and heartbreak today as we got our first glimpse at the damage rocked by Irma.

This is a community on Plantation Key where mile mark at 87. About 60 miles away from where the brunt of the storm, the eye of the storm came ashore, but it's hard to tell it was any more gentle here.

And you see all these little touches of humanity, reminders that families lived here year-round. You have the children's books. Look at this. This is a bingo wheel with the ball still inside. I met a former firearm who lives here who walk around days and said I found my sink over there and my couch over there.

But aside from all of this stuff that is lost, the main concern these days is about human life and who survived. And it's impossible to tell who survive because communication is nearly impossible. All the cell towers are down. The road is impassable in places, so unless you physically come across your neighbor or your relative, it's really difficult to confirm who made it out.

[03:05:05] Search and rescue teams have been heading down U.S. one all day. I watched just a parade of first responders including a fire truck from Los Angeles. So, Americans pitching in from all over. The navy is even sending an aircraft carrier with humanitarian relief down to Key West.

Now one more symbol of Irma today, on the most infamous of modern American dates, 9/11, '17 at 2.30 in the afternoon they searched this trailer and this symbol means no bodies were found inside.

Tomorrow we're getting on a boat going down to the lower Keys to really get a sense of lives saved and lost down there.

Until then, I'm Bill Weir, CNN, Plantation Key, Florida.

HOLMES: Now, to the north, Naples, one of Florida's hardest hit cities. Now we're going to show you some video showing how the flooding there has turned the streets into canals.

The mayor says the down trees and floodwaters are going to require a massive cleanup. Officials say most of the city still without power. It could be a week, perhaps more, before it is restored.

Kristyn Wellesley joins us now. She is the metro editor for the Naples Daily News. Kristyn, thanks for being with us this morning. I want to ask you, Naples was so hard hit, what has it been like for you? What have you been able to see in terms of the damage?

KRISTYN WELLESLEY, METRO EDITOR, NAPLES DAILY NEWS: We have seen a lot of downed trees, a lot of downed power lines. But we've also seen a lot of families that are displaced. A lot of families that didn't evacuate, that are living in trailer parks and trailer homes that have seen their trailers destroyed. And that's their only means of living. So they are homeless at the time.

HOWELL: yes, which is incredibly sad. And I suppose, even for those whose homes are intact with the electricity out, it's very hard to get back to normal life, isn't it?

WELLESLEY: Absolutely. We do not have power for the most part in Collier County, which is the county where Naples is. Most people don't have power here. So they are sitting in the dark tonight. They are sharing their time together with their families in the dark. They are trying to feel their way around where they are with downed power lines, which is extremely dangerous. And it's a very dangerous time to be in Collier County right now without power.

HOWELL: Yes now as we said, you're with the newspaper. I mean, what has it been like for you and your colleagues to cover this? It's not an easy thing to cover a hurricane. How difficult has it been?

WELLESLEY: You know, I have actually been very proud of my teammates. This is about the fourth hurricane that I've been through. But my teammates have been incredibly resourceful in going out and reporting on what's going on in the county, telling our readers exactly what's going on while they're going back and seeing what's happening in their particular homes and their neighborhoods.

We're telling them what's happening not only in their neighborhoods but what's going on in the entire county and in entire region of southwest Florida.

You know, we are currently most people are without power so most stores are closed right now. You know, there is a gas shortage right now. So, you know, we are getting the word out about any resources available for people where they can get supplies as far as water, food, things like that.

We're making sure that we get the word out for them. But my colleagues have been absolutely incredible. They have been keeping the public aware as much as possible of things that are available. And a lot of them have not seen hurricanes before. So I've been incredibly proud of them.

HOWELL: Yes. And I think you haven't even been home yourself to see your own house.

WELLESLEY: I have not.

HOWELL: So, I'm going to the leave it there. Well, good luck. I hope...


WELLESLEY: Yes, I don't know what happened. I rent an apartment here in Naples, and I also have a home to the north, which is around Tampa Bay. And I do not know what's happening in either of those homes. I've not been home, so I don't know what's been happening.

[03:10:04] HOWELL: OK.

WELLESLEY: We've been very dedicated to our readers.

HOWELL: Exactly. We were driving around Tampa Bay today ourselves, our crew, and some trees down, a little bit of damage; hopefully your place isn't one of them. Kristyn, well, thanks so much. I appreciate you being with us.

WELLESLEY: Thank you so much.

HOWELL: And the difficult cleanup has begun in Miami meanwhile. Thousands of trees were uprooted when Irma's powerful winds gust ripped through the city on Sunday. The mayor says clearing roads is the first concern. He also said the majority of that city also lost power as well because of the storm. All right. I want to bring in now Derek Van Dam who's been covering

that aspect of it. You know, they were hearing a storm surge here in Tampa but when Irma jogged to the east that did not happen. Where you are there has been storm surge and done pivotal damage.

DEREK VAN DAM, METEOROLOGIST, CNN: Yes, Michael, we were not spared from the storm surge here in the Biscayne Bay region. We are near Coconut Grove, one of the marinas that got this landscape and hurricane Irma responsible for thrusting up the entire Atlantic Ocean by 5 feet and creating what is now the worst damage in these marinas in the past 12 years.

But we do the math, 12 years it brings us back to 2005, we all know the infamous hurricane year, Wilma, Katrina making landfall in the southern Florida peninsula as well.

They are used to this moment, this destruction across the area, but that doesn't make it any easier. The stories are many here across Miami including the sailboats that are behind me. This is actually part of a nonprofit organization that's run out of this particular marina.

There are nine sailboats, six of which of which are on the shoreline here; three of the other sailboats are at the bottom of the marina. Only their mass sticking above the water as we speak. There's actually also a large yacht, a very expensive yacht behind me. That particular yacht was actually tied up and unfortunately, loosened up by the strong winds and the strong tidal surge that moved in across this region and really caused some destruction here.

Now you know, we've got a lot of cleanup ahead of us here in Miami but we have lots to be thankful for too because we were really spared from the full wrath of Irma as many of the boats here actually are intact and doing quite well, Michael.

HOWELL: All right. Good to hear that side of it anyway. Derek Van Dam, thanks so much.

Well, after being battered by Irma when it was a category 5 storm, Cuba faces a massive rebuilding effort. We're going to look at the damage there for you when we come back.


HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone to our continuing coverage of the aftermath of hurricane Irma. I'm Michael Holmes, live in Tampa, Florida for you.

Now, Irma has weakened to a tropical depression now, but the effects of course still being felt in at least nine states across the southern U.S.

Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now from the international weather center with the latest. Bring us up to date on where it is and what the impacts are and where it might be headed. PEDRAM JAVAHERI, METEOROLOGIST, CNN: Yes, the impacts far from over,

Michael. This storm really on its last breath when it comes to its tropical characteristics. Notice the last few frames of this satellite imagery all of that cooler dry air filtering into it. So, any sort of convection, any sort of thunderstorm activity beginning to weigh in across this region.

But the damage done when it comes to the excessive nature of the power outages, 6.8 million customers in Florida without power. The single largest power outage related to any weather event in U.S. history by a factor of two, that number right there.

Even Georgia coming in with almost one and a half million customers without power. And you know, you see a pretty excessive number of customers in different states as well. But I mean, think about Georgia, its impacts, far less than what happened of course in the state of Florida but the number is quite staggering.

And the reason for all that I want to show this to you. because when you think about the state of Georgia, a well-known for its pine trees, a well-known for its oak trees, tremendous rainfall so it came down in the spring and early summer season as well. So, a lot of moisture in that soil.

It doesn't take much for these trees to come down in 1995 hurricane Opal brought down 5,000 trees. That took with eight lives. Because of those trees across the state of Georgia similar sort of a thing expected to happen.

In fact, in Arbors across the state of Georgia estimating that 5 percent of the tree canopy in the city of Atlanta would succumb to winds that we experienced in the past several hours. So it will be interesting to see how things play across parts of the southern U.S.

But look at Florida, six and a half inches of rainfall statewide. That's the statewide average for the state. That equates to about 7.5 trillion gallons of water that fell from the sky or roughly 11 million Olympic-size swimming pools that fell from the sky.

Another way to look at it you take the population of Florida for every person, 300,000 gallons of water fell from the sky in the past several days. And of course, led with that significant number of rivers that are at flood stage across portions of the southern U.S.

The storm came ashore as a category 4 just about two weeks after Harvey coming ashore as we had a category 4 in Texas, that has never happened in the U.S. history to have multiple category 4's within one season. It made landfall in Marco Island, the second landfall there and it moved its way just east of Tampa with significant storm surge across this region, of course, and now pushing across the southern United States.

So finally, Michael, seeing the last of what this storm has to offer, after a historic run and of course the storm is now going to be retired, as is Harvey which has only happened one other time in history to have back to back hurricanes retired out of the names there. Michael?

HOWELL: Now a lot of people, millions of people will be saying good riddance to Irma. Pedram, thanks so much. Pedram Javaheri there.

Well, Cuba took a major hit from hurricane Irma as it tore its way through the Caribbean. And residents are beginning to see how much work is needed to rebuild.

Our Patrick Oppman with that report.

PATRICK OPPMAN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Irma may have departed Cuba but she left behind plenty of bad memories. She slammed into Cuba as a monster category 5 hurricane, the most powerful storm to hit the island in over 80 years.

[03:20:00] Days later, Cubans are only now just beginning to pick up and dry out. Olga Ruiz Gomez (Ph) lives across the street from the sea in Havana with her daughter and her grandchildren.

Irma dumped 2 feet of water in their ground floor apartment. The water broke down the door she says, it broke a lot came in and contaminated the cistern. Irma hit halfway down the island from Havana, blasting the island with 185 mile an hour winds, downed trees and tore off roots.

The Cuban government prides itself on hurricane preparedness, but the death toll in Cuba now stands at 10, that most of any country hit by the storm.

The Cuban government says it evacuated hundreds of thousands of people ahead of the storm. But Irma struck nearly the entire Cuban coastline. Cuban defenses were simply overwhelmed by the storm.

Cuban President Raul Castro has called on the country to rebuild. And there are hopeful signs cadets clear rubble from the streets and classic American cars are again shining in the bright blue sun.

Antonio and Guillermo share a park bench and cigar while sandwiched between fallen trees. "The island of Cuba," he says, "the Cuban archipelago is used to hurricanes and we have until November, there could be more."

So Cubans will keep a close eye on the sea for additional hurricanes as they begin the long walk to recovery.

Patrick Oppman, CNN, Havana.

HOWELL: Patrick, thank you for that report. When you think about how many people have been in fact affected, impacted by the storm throughout the Caribbean, Florida, the State of Georgia, and South Carolina just the beginning states as the storm pushes north. You have to consider the American Red Cross certainly busy right now.

Let's now bring in Dan Halyburton, a spokesperson with the American Red Cross. Dan, good to have you with us. First of all, tell us about your organization's focus, what are the priorities given the long list of places, people who are in bad shape right now.

DAN HALYBURTON, VOLUNTEER, AMERICAN RED CROSS: Well, it's an unprecedented response. So we find ourselves involved in many stages of the disaster. Really still just the early stages in Florida and further to the north and southeast earn U.S.

And in Texas it's in the recovery phase where we're really trying to help people get back to their homes. If they don't have homes, try to find out new places for them to live and really starting them back on the road to recovery.

HOWELL: Let's talk about that as well. Because again, we are talking about two very catastrophic hurricanes, Irma and Harvey. In Texas, as well. When you think about the number of people who are without homes throughout this entire region, what is your organization doing to help people figure out their next steps?

HALYBURTON: Well, we're working with a number of partner agencies, especially FEMA in the U.S., to make sure that people are working on a plan to find new places to live. Really our shelter populations, while incredibly high at the heights of the storm, 208,000 people in shelters all across the Caribbean, and into the United States.

And so we've got to start that process of getting people on the road to recovery by helping them make a plan. There are so many resources out there. One of the things that the Red Cross does is help people start that plan, start the road to recovery, give them help in finding a way and then finding the resources to get them where they can really start to move on.

HOWELL: Dan, so, you know, there are different levels of people affected, right? There are people who had flood insurance perhaps and, you know, maybe they have the ability to rebuild. There are people who maybe they didn't have flood insurance. May they didn't have a lot of money and now they find themselves in a situation where they pretty much lost everything.

What recourse do people have at this point if they were right there on the edge already and the storm pushed through and knocked them back?

HALYBURTON: Well, it's one of the thing that we see. I met a woman in Dallas, Texas. She drove up from Houston in advance of the storm. Luckily she had her car. She just moved from Phoenix to Houston five days before Harvey came ashore. And so, she's off on a new life. She decided to stay in Dallas for the meantime.

Red Cross is helping her, other agencies, of course, are involved.

[03:24:56] And you know, it's amazing how people remain so resilient in the a face of such loss. We're going to be here without with them throughout making sure that they have help.

You know, one of the things that we also have is a terrific mental health team just helping people deal with all of the elements of disaster, whether it's for the adults or for the children. And it's a long road to recovery. We're going to be here for that long haul. HOWELL: A lot of people certainly in need of help. Dan Halyburton

with the American Red Cross. Thank you for taking time to explain what you're doing to help those people who had been impacted.

So, you know, when we talk about the storm hurricane Irma, that was a hurricane, it's weakening now as it moves north through the United States. But when it was in the Caribbean, it was a category 5 storm, it was incredibly powerful and we take a look at the damage that has been assessed throughout the Caribbean as Newsroom continues.


HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN Newsroom, our breaking news coverage, the aftermath, of course, of hurricane Irma. This storm still giving the effects here in Atlanta, Georgia.

[03:30:00] The rain still coming down here, keeping in mind this was a very bad storm for many parts of this region, at least five people were killed in the southeastern part of the United States.

We're following a situation in Charleston, South Carolina at this hour. We understand in downtown Charleston there is now a flash flood emergency that is in effect. Again, we're monitoring the situation there.

In Jacksonville, Florida that city faced historic storm surge from the storm. That is something that is going to be a problem there because the levels are continuing to rise.

And also in Havana, Georgia they shut down temporarily shut down a highway leading to Tybee Island because of flood concerns.

So Michael, again, this region certainly impacted. This was a very strong storm when it came through, we're still feeling the impacts here. And I know there in Tampa that city was certainly on highlight. A big concern, about a direct hit there, but people breathing a sigh of relief given how vulnerable that city is to big storms.

HOLMES: Yes, actually you're right, and you know, I can show you the local newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times, and the headline there is "We're lucky." There was damage done here. There were problems from the storm but it could have been so much worse and that's what the mayor has said.

And you mentioned the widespread nature of this storm. Remember, this storm was bigger than the size of Florida, which is just extraordinary when you think about it. And before it even got to the United States, Irma was plowing through several Caribbean islands as a category five hurricane.

Thirty-six people, at least 36 people died and there are new satellite images that show the devastation across the region. Now on top, that's how the U.S. and British Virgin Islands looked before Irma and then how they look now. You see most of the vegetation has been uprooted. It's just gone. And we have got side by side comparison of Virgin Gorda. Irma

essentially changing the color of that island. And again, Barbuda and Antigua almost all the building in Barbuda, 95 percent according to officials there were severely damaged or destroyed entirely.

And one couple got a taste of what could be the worst of Irma's damage. The storm made landfall of course in the Caribbean. First of all, Polo Sandoval reporting for us that authorities are now getting a better view of what Irma has done.

POLO SANDOVAL, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Catastrophic damage across the Caribbean, a category five hurricane packing winds of up to 185 miles per hour when it roared through these islands late last week. Irma left almost total devastation in its wake. At least 36 people were killed, a number that almost surely will wise.

Thousands are homeless, businesses are wiped out. On many islands there is little food or clean water. Thousands of American tourists and residents were among those stranded by the storm.

This is St. Martin today, an idealic resort turned to rubble overnight. The island of 72,000 took a direct hit from Irma.

American officials say they evacuated about 1,200 U.S. citizens from St. Martin, shuttling them on military transport planes to nearby Puerto Rico. For those who remain there's been almost no food, water or power for days and the search for those essentials quickly took a desperate turn.

Looters are some reportedly armed demanded anything from food to a working car.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's roof. The roof is about to come. Yes, there it is. The roof just went, Jess. The whole roof, the whole just went flying right off.


SANDOVAL: Irma killed at least eight people when it pummeled the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. U.S. navy personnel moved in to medevac the most seriously injured, perhaps hardest hit the tiny islands of Anguilla and Barbuda.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That pole (Ph) it was just encompassing. And it really became at one point a question of whether we would live to see through it.


SANDOVAL: The island prime minister said Irma raked, quote, "total devastation there."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can barely hear you. It's coming on strong. Yes, I will just put my jacket on.


SANDOVAL: Irma heavily flooded the streets of Havana, Cuba. Cuba has already cut off power to parts of the city as a safety measure. And as bad as Havana was hit, Cuba's northeast coast took in even worse pounding all just before Irma turned and send its sights on Florida.

Polo Sandoval, CNN, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

[03:34:58] HOLMES: And French President, Emmanuel Macron, is heading to St. Martin and St. Barts on Tuesday to oversee relief efforts there over those islands devastated by hurricane Irma.

And CNN's Jim Bittermann joins us now live from Paris to talk about it. Mr. Macron not necessarily going to be getting much of a warm welcome.

JIM BITTERMANN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: No. In fact, it could be quite hostile from what we've seen, Michael. Basically a lot of people who have lived on those islands have started to come back to France and we saw a flight arrived yesterday, a military flight yesterday with a number of people who complained about the inattention of the French government to their plight. The fact that they basically had to wait five days for food and water.

In the meantime, there was looting and armed gangs running around and that sort of thing. So, there was a number of complaints about how the French government handled and how they prepared for all of this.

The island of St. Martin is half Dutch and half French. And the island of (Inaudible) they're making comparisons as to what happened on the Dutch side which they viewed as somewhat better than what happened on French side.

So, Mr. Macron has that on his plate. He'll be talking to the folks there, and especially about rebuilding, and that's a question that a lot of people out on the islands have, to what extent the government will be behind the rebuilding effort.

For example, the 21 schools on St. Martin, only about three of the schools are actually usable possible to rebuild them and the others are basically destroyed. So there's a lot of reconstruction work that has to be done, Michael.

HOLMES: All right, Jim Bittermann, thanks so much. Mr. Macron heading there to do what he can. It might not be a warm welcome.

Coming up next, more of our continuing coverage of the destruction and devastation caused by hurricane Irma. Now of course the daunting mission of recovery, rebuilding begins.

[03:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HOWELL: Welcome back to our continuing coverage, the aftermath of hurricane Irma. I'm George Howell, live in Atlanta, Georgia.

In the U.S. State of Florida, millions of people they follow the advice of officials. They decided to evacuate to leave their homes as this storm pushed through into the state of Florida, but there were also those who did not evacuate.

Our Ed Lavandera went to the fishing village of Goodland, Florida and spoke with people who decided to stay.


ED LAVANDERA, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Where the Everglades meets the Gulf of Mexico there sits a fishing village called Goodland. The eye of hurricane Irma chainsaw its way through here.

GARY STRINGER, GOODLAND RESIDENT: See if I can live inside the storm.

LAVANDERA: And Gary Stringer stared down the sharpest edge of the storm's blades. He sat in this room as the 130 mile per hour winds whirled outside.

Did you feel like the house was going to go down?

STRINGER: Yes. I got up the dogs and said here we go, it's going to go. I mean, nothing to do.

LAVANDERA: Like Dorsey (Ph) and the whistle band?

STRINGER: Yes, almost. Yes.

LAVANDERA: As the house shook he heard the cracking and rumbling of a giant tree ripping out of the ground. He opened the door to see the tree had fallen onto the neighbor's house, he was spared.

At that point you start telling yourself maybe I should have left town.

STRINGER: Yes, may I have someone an hour before that.

LAVANDERA: Emergency officials say some 40 people decided to ride out the storm here in Goodland, but there were no serious injuries reported. The hurricane ripped apart this town that's home to several hundred people. Boats tossed around, trees toppled, and several homes destroyed.

DUSTIN SHEPARD, GOODLAND RESIDENT: It blew out my oil cap the pressure from the water.

LAVANDERA: The storm surge pushed about 7 feet of water under Dustin Shepard's home. The water is gone now but the surge brought in fish that aren't supposed to be here.

What do you have there?

SHEPARD: We have a puffer fish here.

LAVANDERA: Shepard works as a charter fisherman and stayed inside his home with his wife and friend.

SHEPARD: My windows broke on the backside here and for about a couple hours, you know, I thought my house might come down. You know, and it got scary. You know, it was something I'll never forget. I'll tell you that much.

LAVANDERA: Friends showed up to hug Gary Stringer grateful he survived. He might have an incredible story to tell, but he just feels lucky to walk away.

STRINGER: I won't do it again, you know, trust me. You know, if another one comes I'm going to book a flight about a week early and I'll be on the other side of the world at a tiki bar somewhere. No cell phone service, I'll try later.

LAVANDERA: You learned your lesson?


LAVANDERA: I'm glad you already think.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, Goodland, Florida.


HOWELL: Ed, thank you so much. CNN following other news around the world this hour, as well. North Korea, the U.N., new sanctions against that nation going to the heart of its economy, but the nation still defiant.

CNN international correspondent Will Ripley is live in Pyongyang. His report, next.


HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone. Tropical depression Irma still leaving a path of serious damage even as it dissipates. It has killed at least five people and left millions without power in the southeastern United States.

Federal authorities say Jacksonville is suffering the worst flooding it has seen in a century. The only road that connects the Florida Keys is closed. Thousands who rode out the storm there don't have water or phone service.

And downtown Charleston in South Carolina remains under a flash flood emergency.

All right, more on the aftermath of hurricane Irma in our next hour. Right now, though, let's take it over to John Vause who is following other international headlines from Los Angeles. John?

JOHN VAUSE, HOST, CNN: Michael, thank you. North Korea has been hit with tough new U.N. sanctions aimed at increasing pressure on Kim Jong-un over his illicit nuclear and missile programs.

The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved the resolution which includes a ban on North Koreans working overseas as well as an embargo on textile exports. Those two measures alone could cost Pyongyang more than billion dollars a year.

North Korea will also be hit with a 30 percent reduction in oil imports and well short of the Trump administration's demand last week that oil supplies be totally cut off.

Despite that, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley described the new sanctions as a win.


NIKKI HALEY, UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: In short, these are by far the strongest measures ever imposed on North Korea. They give us a much better chance to halt the regime's ability to fuel and finance its nuclear and missile programs.

But we all know these steps only work if all nations implement them completely and aggressively.


VAUSE: CNN's Will Ripley, live for us again this hour in Pyongyang. So, Will, we're still waiting to see how North Korea will respond, but that response could be the launch of an ICBM?

WILL RIPLEY, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yes, South Korea has said, John, that North Korea could launch an ICBM at any moment. They thought it was going to happen a few days ago to mark the country's foundation day holiday. It didn't happen. It didn't happen locally here this morning after the U.N. sanctions vote.

[03:50:01] And one thing I've learned about North Korea it's not a matter of if but when especially when it comes to things like missile launches. We know they're going to launch, we don't necessarily know what's going to trigger it.

But certainly, North Korea not happy about the sanctions. They've been issuing warnings against the United States for days, calling the U.S. blood thirsty beast. Saying that they're going to bring about the permanent extinction of America. The typical rhetoric we hear from North Korea, John.

But clearly, yet another round of sanctions makes it more difficult for this regime to bring in money but they have proven very adept to doing so with previous round after round of increasingly strong sanctions.

VAUSE: And with that in mind it seems that both Russia and China had a hand in getting these sanctions toned down. So in any way they appear to be similar to previous sanctions which have been passed by the Security Council which didn't work.

RIPLEY: Right. Because there are always that bribes can be made, fake companies can be established, things can be smuggled. And yes, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley pointed out this round of these sanctions if they are implemented could cut 90 percent of North Korea's reported export income but there's a lot of export income and income from other means that is not reported, whether it be weapons proliferation or online activities.

North Korea has been accused of tens of millions of dollars in cyber bank heists. This is a company that knows how to bring in revenue despite some of the most difficult economic circumstances.

But what you didn't see, what you didn't see on these sanctions bill and the significant, you didn't see Kim Jong-un the North Korean leader named or blacklisted in any way, you didn't see a full embargo on oil, which China and Russia would view as potentially destabilizing and their national carrier Air Koryo continues to fly. That was also something that China and Russia would not -- would not have allowed.

VAUSE: They are masters at getting around sanctions as well. Will, thank you. Will Ripley, live for us in Pyongyang.

A late night parliamentary win for British Prime Minister Theresa May with a key Brexit bill backed by a majority of M.P.'s despite many claiming it's a government power grab. Now the House of Commons approved the E.U. withdrawal bill which aims to convert thousands of E.U. laws and regulations into U.K. domestic laws before the exit deadline of 2019.

But the bill faces a final vote later this year and many lawmakers are demanding significant changes before then.

Live to number 10 and Bianca Nobilo was there for us. So, Bianca, we have this next vote which is still to come later this year. Hypothetically, if this bill should fail that vote, what happens then?

BIANCA NOBILO, PRODUCER, CNN: It's quite a complicated process. So even before it gets to the third reading, which is when it has its next vote. The bill will go to committee stage and that's when M.P.'s can take the bill line by line, deconstruct it and make that arguments and make amendments. Then it has its third readings.

And in the third reading M.P.'s will offer amendments and then it will go through to the House of Lords from the House of Commons. If the House of Lords is happy with how it looks it might make amendments itself, then it will pass the bill back to the House of Commons.

This is often referred to as a parliamentary Ping-Pong. So it can go back and forth between both houses until both of them are happy with the wording. But if it fails that, which would be very unusual then the government is going to be in quite a tricky position.

Because the whole purpose of the third reading is to allow people and M.P.'s to amend the existing bill and finish it in such a way that across the house there's support for it. So it can reach the final stage, which is royal assent.

VAUSE: OK. Obviously some difficult days ahead for Prime Minister Theresa May but it was a good day for her there in parliament. Bianca, thanks so much for being with us.

Over the past few weeks, Irma and Harvey have set devastating records. Notably, this was the first time on one season that two Atlantic hurricanes with an intensity of category have made landfall on the U.S. mainland.

But when CNN's Jim Acosta asked homeland security adviser Tom Bossert that if this means the Trump administration would now take a closer look at the link between climate change and this increasingly powerful storms, Bossert dodged the question.


JIM ACOSTA, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Are these storms giving this administration some pause when it comes to the issue of climate change in homeland security?

TOM BOSSERT, UNITED STATES HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISOR: I think what's prudent for us right now is to make sure that those response capabilities are there. Causality is something outside my ability to analyze right now. I will tell you that we continue to take seriously the climate change not the cause of it but the things that we observe in.


VAUSE: And the White House also refused to say if the president's skeptical views about climate change or climate change have actually altered in any way.

And just last week the head of the Environmental Protection Agency's Scott Pruitt, a well-known climate change denier told CNN now was not the time to talk about this issue.

Meanwhile, on the climate page of the EPA's web site everything from the previous Obama administration has been deleted with a promise it will be updated soon.

[03:55:02] OK. Well, our coverage of tropical storm Irma continues after a short break. Stay with us. I'm John Vause in Los Angeles.

HOWELL: I'm George Howell, live in Atlanta, Georgia.

HOLMES: And I'm Michael Holmes, live in Tampa, Florida. For our U.S. viewers Early Start is next. For everyone else, Hannah Vaughan Jones picks up in London. You're watching CNN.